G’morning! This will begin a fun experiment in which I type up my post the night before, skim it over in the morning, and post it! And hopefully not hate it and want to start all over. My mid-first-cup-of-coffee posts are fun and all, but aren’t- uh, how do you say- coherent.
Everyone talks about community in every game, whether it’s good or bad. It seems as though it’s an easy thing to define, to pin down, but is it? Let’s pick on one game, as an example:
World of Warcraft has millions of players, all across the world, that log in every day and enjoy the heck out of the game. That person probably belongs to a guild, they probably have friends that play the game as well, they are on a server where tons of other people play, and they’re playing a game which people devote a lot of time and energy to. Each of these circles is it’s own community inside a larger community inside a larger… you get the idea. I don’t want this example of Warcraft to stand as my solo example of community in games, it’s just the game I’m most familiar with, so I reference it a lot!
Not every single person agrees about every single thing. That’s part of human nature. Problems arise, however, when people that disagree with other people take it to the extreme. Yes, to me it is just a game, and I am able to separate out the game from real life, and understand there are real people sitting behind the pixels. To some people this game is very much a part of their livelihood, so it makes sense that they would be able to (hopefully) do the same, but take it a bit more seriously, or be a lot more in tune to the game, or the community in general. There are some people who just take it far too seriously, and can’t seem to separate real life from the pixels. I went through a period of time (a few years ago) myself where I was more like this, it didn’t last long, but I wasn’t able to ever really ‘log out’ of the game and enjoy life.
When I’m at home, I am pretty much on Twitter all the time (maybe too much =P). There is constantly A Discussion happening, whether good or bad, productive or silly, about any manner of games, really. Usually these are happening when I’m busy elsewhere, and I just see snippets of them, but when I do see them happening, a lot of times I’m afraid to chime in, even if I have something to say, or even if the conversation is happening between people that I interact with a lot, or that I’m good friends with. I’ve talked about my anxiety before, how I hold myself back and I’m my own worst critic. I know I have valid points, and can partake in conversations, but I’m almost more apt to have them in private, or not for all of my/our followers or guild chat to see. I am a lot better than I used to be, however, and I have my little community to thank for that.
A good community can make me stay in a game, a nonexistent or toxic one can make me quit and uninstall very quickly. I’ve been lucky enough to only run across the latter a couple times, and they’ve been smaller games, and more nonexistent than toxic. Just the same, a good community can make me stay in that community, whether it be my circle of blogger friends, gaming friends, crafting friends, or real life people that I guess I should interact with like my family.
I surround myself with good, supportive, fun people, and cut all negativity out of my life where I can. Life’s too short to get mad at someone on the internet, and sometimes a simple unfollow or block can save you a world of headaches or hurt.
This week marks a special occasion in my books, it has been one year since I’ve met some very awesome people who have quickly become a huge part of my life. It honestly means so much more, as a girl who never really had a ton of friends growing up, to have all these amazing people that I can call that. Unfortunately, all of you are all over the damn world, and I may not meet a lot of you in real life! Fortunately, I have met the above mentioned people who live a short drive away, and it’s so fun to hang out and geek out with them at our houses, versus sitting in front of the computer and typing away, or talking in voice chat.
It’s really interesting to me how the world and society changes, how a lot of us take for granted that we can log into a game and instantly talk with our friends and guild mates who are scattered across the globe, have jobs in all different fields, believe in so many different religions (or not), and are just so different, but yet we are all united by this common thing, whether it be Warcraft, FFXIV, or even games that aren’t normally considered MMO’s, such as Minecraft, Dragon Age series, or other ‘single player’ games.
Thanks for reading, go forth and conquer the day!